Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 11 August 2017

Watton Brook Valley, Norfolk

What a cracking morning with a real autumnal feel to it, bright and cool (7 degrees at dawn), and a mist hanging over the valley.  Morning like this give a feel of expectation, especially as we now progress towards autumn migration.
This morning I spent just a short time visiting the valley as I had a midday appointment in Norwich, despite this it was quite a productive morning as the following list shows:

25+ Stock Doves
Wood Pigeon
1 Buzzard
1 Kingfisher
1 Stonechat (juvenile)
2 Whitethroats
1 Willow Warbler
Coal Tit (family party)
Great Tit
40+ Linnets

Watton Brook
A short, static count at the Brook produced a single juvenile Stonechat.  Although quite close this young bird was almost always against the light, thus appearing in silhouetted form.  Despite this, the bird appeared typically dumpy with a short tail.  The plumage appeared dark and speckled with the feint hint of a small white wedged shaped patch on its secondaries.
Also here was 2 Whitethroats, one of which frequented a Bramble patch and attempted to feed upon a ripe berry.  The other was in bankside herbage.
A single Kingfisher flew along the valley and a single Wren was seen also.

A single Willow Warbler was in a roadside hedge at a locality where the species bred this year. The distinctive "hooweet" call frequently given.

Wooded Pit close to 'The Arms'.
Another short, static check of this small, mixed woodland habitat, which included some fine, mature Scots Pine specimens, produced a mobile family party of Coal Tits with Great Tit present also.
Blackcap was also heard here.
The adjacent field edges with an abundance of weedy strips held 40+ Linnets, good feeding here.
Coal Tit at Little Cressingham 11th August

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